At this time we don't know where the plant will be sited. What we do know is that this facility will be located where it meets the future needs of the citizens of Oak Harbor. Many concerns arise when choosing a site. Cost is a big driver on which location is picked and which technology is chosen. The selection process will determine if we can use existing outfalls or not, they are very expensive to build and place in service. It will determine if the conveyance system (the sewer lines that deliver waste to the facility) needs to be altered significantly and if so how much and at what cost.
Do we want odorless and quite? If an advanced Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) technology is the chosen technology the plant will not be smell or be noisy but will cost more to build. If a conventional system is chosen it will most likely be sited remotely out of the city and Windjammer Park which will incur costs for conveyance, land acquisition, and outfall issues but not be as much of a nuisance. Many communities are opting to build the more expensive (MBR) water reclamation plants and incorporate learning centers. These centers help us better understand how as a community we can protect the health of our citizens, marine life and environment. Taking advantage of the high quality water of the MBR for irrigation and conservation has its merits.
Composting and other beneficial alternatives will be considered with the reuse of plant bio-solids (the solids generated from wastewater treatment which are digested and stabilized). These products can be use in parks and city landscapes as opposed to disposal and the costs involved in hauling it off. The Department of Ecology will play a big role in these evaluations as well, with particular interest in cleaner effluent standards. So the big question is: Do we want and can we afford a Cadillac facility or is a more affordable model which meets the basic needs a better investment for now and into the future? Stay posted, as there will be opportunities for citizens to express ideas and concerns.